After a three year hiatus, George Dvorsky has rekindled his futurist-themed podcast, Sentient Developments. The show serves as a counterpart to his blog of the same name and covers similar topics, often in more detail and with accompanying clips and interviews for added depth and insight.
DARPA, the Pentagon’s advanced concepts think-tank, is looking to take propaganda to the next level and they’re hoping to do so by controlling the very way their targets perceive and interpret the flow of incoming information. The Pentagon believes that by engaging in ‘narrative control’ they can alter an individual’s grasp on reality and the way in which they evaluate current events. Simply put, DARPA is looking to shape minds with stories.
Timothy Leary and Buckminster Fuller called themselves “performing philosophers,” using the power of media communication to spread galactic-sized ideas about the state of the species in relation to the wider universe. Leary used to say, “In the information age, you don’t teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today, he’d have a talk show.” Carl Sagan is another example of the philosopher-as-media-personality, effectively hacking pop culture with his iconic Cosmos TV series and sending our collective minds reeling.
The human brain is a massively parallel processor — each of its 100 billion-plus neurons is processing data all the time, and responding if appropriate. By contrast, today’s default computer architecture is highly serial — our processors operate, by and large, one step at a time. Certain types of operations that are slow for brain cells are extremely fast for today’s computer processors, enabling our computers to do a lot of amazing things in spite of their serial architecture.
More than 80 transhumanist avatars stormed the virtual world of Second Life for a community event organized by Humanity+ on September 15. This has been by far the largest virtual transhumanist event that I have seen, and I believe I have seen them all. Two or three years ago the Second Life system would have been slowed down to a halt by 80 participants, but now everything worked without a glitch: virtual reality technology has evolved, and transhumanists want to bring the same fast evolution to RL (Second Life slang for “Real Life.”)
Ben Goertzel is recipient of the Humanity+ 2011 Visionary Award. Congratulations to Ben Goertzel for his many years of inspirational ideas. Ben Goertzel has been a motivation for Humanity+ and a delight to work with. We look forward to our future collaborations with Ben and his continued personal successes!
Where does the notion of leadership come from? There is no unified theory on leadership, possibly because the world is too diverse. The study of leadership has its roots in early civilizations. Sumerians, Taoist, Egyptian rulers, Greek heroes and heroines, religious patriarchs and matriarchs, native chiefs and medicine woman may have shared a common behavior, that of an authoritative rule or a mystical wisdom. But humans are not the only animals or life forms that manifest a behavior the looks like leadership, or can be interpreted as leadership.